Posts Tagged ‘libraries’

‘Tis the season to notice gratitude, and several of the blogs I read have been recently doing just that. John Scalzi started it off with his Thanksgiving Advent Calendar (the first post of which, incidentally, makes a nice companion piece to my own post on not drinking). My friend Marie Brennan decided to follow his lead and do a month-long thankfulness project as well (and by the by, also wrote this very Amy-approved post, if you’re looking for more reading). James Van Pelt chimed in with some gratitude of his ownjust yesterday.I’ve been really enjoying reading these posts. It’s so refreshing to get a little dose of positivity every day as these writers think about the various aspects of their lives that increase their quality of existence. After all, I’m never one to shy away from optimism, and one component of that is to appreciate what you already have. So here’s my list of random happy things in honor of Thanksgiving:1. A variety of fresh fruit and vegetables: Because in the past, you could usually only eat what was locally grown. Granted, I live in California, where many fruits and vegetables can be locally grown, but I’m still grateful for this.

2. Living in the United States: Okay, it’s true that the right of habeas corpus referenced in the Constitution seems to be on a permanent holiday, and apparently we’re not allowed to protest peacefully anymore either. But even though there are a lot of things I think need to be fixed, that doesn’t change the fact that I enjoy many benefits from living in the United States. My standard of living is higher than it would be in many, many other countries; I have access to useful infrastructure; and I don’t generally have to worry about my country being obliterated in the near future. These are benefits that I very much appreciate.

3. Corrective Vision Technology: Without any technological assistance, I am very, very nearsighted and couldn’t function normally in the world. Not only do I have access to glasses with light-weight lenses that don’t make me look at the world through Coke bottle glass, but if they break I can get them fixed locally and promptly. Plus, if I get sick of them, I can opt for contact lenses that aren’t painful like the old ones used to be or get corrective eye surgery. Yay for being able to see!

4. The Internet: My life would not be nearly as rich without the increased access the internet has given me, both to a wide variety of people and to a huge collection of data. When I was a kid, if I wanted to know something I’d look it up in our set of World Book encyclopedias and hope there was a relevant entry; if there wasn’t, I’d have to make a trip to the library or just settle for not knowing. Can you imagine settling for not knowing anymore? I can’t. And if you wanted to stay in touch with someone who didn’t live in your town, you wrote letters…which meant you couldn’t stay in touch with a very large number of people. Nowadays that’s gotten a lot easier.

5. My blog: For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a lot to say. However, if you meet me in person, you might not realize this is true, because I have this ingrained habit of asking questions and listening…which means I don’t always get around to the saying what’s on my mind part. Getting to share what’s going on up there in my head with you all is a great privilege…and a significant pleasure.

6. My car: This one is a little embarrassing. I had to replace my car early this year, and I’ve been surprised at how much I appreciate the new one. Sometimes it’s the little things: I push the ignition button and it ACTUALLY STARTS. Every single time, even. Wow, do I feel grateful to not have to worry about getting from point A to point B anymore. (P.S. The seat warmers don’t hurt either.)

7. Libraries: Until the last few years, buying a book (and probably a Mass Market paperback, at that) was an extremely big deal for me. The rest of the time, I supported my reading habit by frequenting my local library. I can’t imagine what I would have done my whole life without libraries, and I’m incredibly grateful that I was given the means to live the kind of literary life that would have otherwise been outside of my grasp.

8. My family: I know I sound like a broken record, but my husband and my dog probably make the biggest difference in my life on a day-to-day level. They make the good days better and the bad days not quite as grim. Any list of happy things doesn’t feel quite complete without mentioning them.

Please tell me a few of your own happy appreciative things, or write your own post and make sure to tell me about it!

I hope you all have a very happy Thanksgiving! I’m taking next week off from blogging for the holiday, so I’ll see you again the week after next.

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